Italian contractor Impregilo was this week negotiating compensation with the Italian government after it scrapped its contract to build the Eu3.88bn (£2.53bn) Messina Bridge.
The coalition government led by prime minister Romano Prodi raised the axe over plans to build the 3.3km suspension bridge, the world's longest, when it was elected in May (NCE
25 May). Last week Prodi let the axe fall.A construction consortium led by Impregilo was due to start on site in the new year. The cancellation of the scheme means it is eligible for compensation.A spokeswoman for state-owned client company Stretto di Messina said that had Impregilo started on site it would have been entitled to 10% of the construction cost, in the region of Eu388M.But Impregilo had not yet started on site. It won the contract to build the bridge last October, but because it was still developing a detailed design it was unclear whether Impregilo would be entitled to the cash, she added.However, she said that the government is trying to sweeten the blow by offering Impregilo other transport infrastructure work to an equivalent value.